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Juggling JR Pass and 13 Night Itinerary

almost 4 years ago
1 response


Please help! It seems like the more research we do, the more confused we get especially regarding the transport system!

Right, from the beginning...We have 13 nights in Japan arriving in the evening of August 12th.

On first planning, we thought:
4 nights - Tokyo,
1 night - Hakone/ Mt. Fuji
3 nights - The Alps (particularly to see the hot spring monkeys and do the Alpine Route), however unsure of the best location to stay!
5 nights - Kyoto (with day trips to maybe Nara/ Osaka/ Hiroshima).

Our questions are:
* Is this a do-able itinerary in this order? Or can you suggest a more time/ cost efficient itinerary covering these locations? * Can we travel from Hakone - The Alps - Kyoto or would it be better to travel from Tokyo - The Alps - Tokyo - Kyoto? * Is 3 nights ok to do the Alpine Route/ see monkeys? Can it be done in 2 nights? What location(s) would you recommend staying in? Can the Alpine Route be done in 1 day (for example a round trip instead of one way)? * How can our luggage be accommodated on transport...no backpacks but large and carry on suitcases! * would it be beneficial to purchase a JR Pass, if so which one and for 7 or 14 days? If 7, when would we need to activate it?

Any advice or guidance would be very much appreciated :-)

Thank you,

1303 posts
almost 4 years ago

Hi Rebecca,
The order doesn't matter so much, as long as you are not backtracking and wasting time.
If you left Tokyo, saw the alps, visited Hiroshima and returned to Kyoto within 7 days, then a 7 day pass would pay off.
Otherwise, it's more unclear. Are you returning back to Tokyo after Kyoto?

You can see the monkeys in a day, the real issue is the time it takes to get around. Going by way of Kanazawa might make more sense (and there are some great places to see there as well). For taking your bags, there is usually room on the trains. But you could have them shipped around the country very cheaply too.

Good luck.

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